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The Importance of Writing Skills


By Kimberley Gray.

Because of the impropriety of entertaining guests of the opposite sex in the bedroom, it is suggested that the lobby be used for this purpose. OK, this was from a Zurich hotel where the context had been somewhat lost in translation, but it is an amusing demonstration of how incorrect use of language can be picked up by a business reader. In today’s competitive world, every misspelling, incorrect use of language and inappropriate tone is quickly seized and used against us, yet it is a very big problem for business in the UK and is...

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...responsible for many misunderstandings, lost contracts and ignored sales pitches.

According to the National Literacy Trust, poor basic skills cost UK industry more than £4.8 billion a year and costs every company employing more than 50 employees £165,000 a year in poor quality control, lost orders and poor communication. I take for granted, my ability to write and communicate effectively, after all, I have been in the writing industry for more than 13 years, yet it is estimated that 10% of the population are dyslexic to some degree. Unfortunately, for many employers, it becomes their responsibility to help their employees overcome any writing weaknesses. Early on in my career, I was fortunate to have a manager who was a fantastic writer and she instilled in me some very early discipline to business writing, which I have continued to use throughout my career.

Know your audience Tailor your writing style and medium to your audience. If you are writing to very busy people, then choose a medium that is short and keep information brief. If you are writing to people that like detail, provide it, and if you’re not quite sure what your audience wants, ask them before embarking on... continued on page two >

 

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